Go Daddy Explains Whois Blocking
Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
Company explains access restrictions on third party sites.
Users of third party whois search tools have been frustrated in the past few days whenever they look up a domain name registered at Go Daddy. Instead of seeing who owns the domain name, they are given a URL to look up the whois information directly at Go Daddy. Here’s an example from DomainTools:
This appears to be occurring on many whois lookup sites, not just DomainTools. For example, searches at who.is return a similar result. A search at iWhois.com earlier today had the same problem, and a note on the page said that the service was having difficulty with Go Daddy whois lookups. The problem is now (at least temporarily) resolved for iWhois.
I contacted Go Daddy to find out what was going on, and received this statement from Rich Merdinger
Director, Domain Services:
Go Daddy values customer privacy. We monitor WHOIS data regularly to ensure our customers’ information is being accessed properly and not being harvested for unintended uses. If we suspect that any service is harvesting WHOIS data, we will limit access to that specific source.
We are not taking the WHOIS information offline, however. Anyone can find the WHOIS information on a domain name registered through Go Daddy by visiting http://whois.GoDaddy.com.
If a company or service has questions about accessing Go Daddy WHOIS information, they can email dns (at) jomax.net.
This is merely a nuisance to the typical DomainTools user. But it could affect some of DomainTools’ more popular tools. For example, I use historical whois to research domains before buying them. The service is no longer able to collect detailed records from Go Daddy to use in future historical lookups. The blocking also could prevent reverse domain name lookups. Trademark attorneys who use reverse whois to find out which domains a particular person owns may be foiled if the registrant keeps all of his domains at Go Daddy.